Employment Pass

Employment Pass – Who Is It For?  

Employment Pass (EP) is the highest level of work pass category a foreigner can obtained to work in  Singapore. This type of work pass is targeted at highly skilled and well educated professionals, business people of any nationality to do business or work in Singapore.


Key Features of Singapore Employment Pass Work Pass

  • Normally valid for 2 years but renewal.
  • There are 3 types of categories under this pass type. The higher categories command higher benefits over the lower categories
P1 foreigner has to earn a fixed monthly salary of S$8,000 and above and possess acceptable qualifications (academic and professional)


P2 foreigner has to earn a fixed monthly salary of S$4,500 and above, and possess acceptable qualifications
P3 foreigner earning a fixed monthly salary of more than S$3,300 and possesses recognised qualifications.


  • One of the key advantage for EP holders of P1 passes is that they are able to sponsor their spouses and children for dependent passes to live and work in Singapore as well.
  • All EP application is required to be sponsor by a local employer. Foreigners are not allowed to apply for EP until the foreigner has found an employer willing to hire him/her. Only the hiring party (employer) or licensed agency is authorised to lodge the applications.
  • For fresh graduates from local or reputable universities, lack of working experience isn’t the reason to deprive yourself with an opportunity to obtain this pass to begin your career in Singapore;
  • The initial approval period is typically 2 years but renewable prior to expiry;
  • Employment Pass holders can enjoy hassle-free immigration procedures when travelling out of Singapore;
  • EP holders are eligible to apply for Permanent Resident status after having worked for several years in Singapore .
  • There is no restrictions in terms of quota for EP applications. There is also no levy payable. However, recent changes to application rules require employer with more than 25 employees to advertise the vacancies in jobsbank (a job portal maintained by the Ministry of Manpower) first before any EP application can commence.
  • EP Holders can be shareholders and directors of their own or other local companies.
  • The qualifying salary benchmark (SGD3,300 per month- typically for fresh graduates) has been raised over the years. For more experienced foreign applicants, this threshold would be higher correspondingly.
  • The salary threshold to be able to sponsor dependents has been raised to SGD5,000 per month since 1 September 2015 for immediate family members and SGD10,000 per month for parents.
  • Renewal procedure isn’t automatic. The criteria for renewal will depend on the prevailing rules and criteria at the point of renewal.
  • If EP holders wish to change an employer during the term of his or her EP, a fresh application is required and this will be subject to rules and criteria at the point of application.

Eligibility Criteria and Requirements

  • Foreign applicant must have a job offer from a local company;
  • Both the sponsoring employer and the foreign applicant will be subject to eligibility assessment;
  • For local companies with more than 25 head count, the job vacancy has been advertised in the jobsbank for Singaporean talents for at least 14 days, and no one among the locals was found suitable for this position;
  • Ideally, the foreign applicant should have a degree or professional equivalent qualification from a well-established university or college;
  • The salary paid should commensurate with the age and working experience of the candidate;
  • Each application is assessed holistically on its own merits in terms of salary, educational attainment, age, nationality, skills sets, etc and the sponsoring employer’s company background. The criteria for each rejection or approval is never disclosed.

More information can be found at Ministry of Manpower

singapore employment pass

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